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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

AT MATHtTB/,  1658 A.D.                                 35
iiad ttsed abusive language. The doctors of the law accordingly gave it as
their opinion—some that he should be put to death, others that lie should be
publicly disgraced and fined. The Shaikh was in favour of the capital punish-
ment, and applied to the Emperor to have the sentence confirmed; but the
latter would give no definite reply, and remarked that the Shaikh was respon-
sible for the execution of the law and need not apply to him. The Brahman
meanwhile was kept in prison, the Hindu ladies of the royal household using
every endeavour to get him released, while the Emperor, out of regard for
the Shaikh, hesitated about yielding to them. At last Abd-un-Nabi, after
failing to elicit any definite instructions, returned home and issued orders for
the Brahman's execution. When the news reached the Ernperor, he was
very angry, and though he allowed Abd-un-ITabi to retain his post till his
death, which occurred in 1583, he never took him into favour again.
Jahanolr, on his accession to the throne, continued to some extent his
O      '                                                                        '
father's policy of religious tolerance ; but in the following reiga of Shahjahan,
we find Murshid Ali Khan, in the year 1636, made a commander of 2,000
horse, and appointed by the Emperor Governor of Mathura and Maha-ban,
with express instructions to be zealous in stamping out all rebellion and
idolatry. The climax of wanton destruction was, however, attained by Aurang-
zeb, the Oliver Cromwell of India, who, not content with demolishing the most
sacred of its shrines, thought also to destroy even the ancient name of the city
by substituting for it Islampur or Islamabad.
Mathura was casually connected with two important events in this Empe-
ror's life. Here was born, in 1639, his eldest son, Muhammad Sultan, who
expiated the sin of primogeniture in the Oriental fashion, by ending his days in
a dungeon, as one of the first acts of his father, on his accession, to the throne,
was to confine him in the fortress of Gwaliar, where he died in 1665. In the
kst year of the jeiga of Shahjahan, Aurangzeb was again at Mathura, and
here established his pretensions to the crown by compassing the death of his
brother Murad. This was in 1658, a few days after the momentous battle of
Samogarh,* in which the combined forces of the two princes had routed the
army of the rightful heir, Dara. The conquerors encamped together, being
apparently on the most cordial and affectionate terms ; and Aurangzeb, pro-
testing that for himself he desired only some sequestered spot where, un-
harrassed by the toils of government, he might pass his time in prayer and
* Samogarh IB a village, one march from Agra, since named, in honour of the eyeat, Fatih-
&bid, Hie place of rictory.*